2021 “Terrible Mistake” Contest



Redwood Writers Summer Prose Contest

This Summer, we invite you to write a story about a “terrible mistake.”

Perhaps you put the wrong address on an envelope, you told off the manager at the wrong shop, you backed into another vehicle.

Or how about a love story that ends with: "I've made a terrible mistake." For example, maybe you fall for your man’s sibling? You booked a wedding photographer, and it turns out they are the one? You found out your fiancé’s and your family are mortal enemies—a little Romeo and Juliette? What if you kissed him/her, and he/she changed back into a toad?

But what about a mistake that results in wonderful consequences? We want to read that too!


First prize:

Second prize:

Third prize:

*In addition to the cash awards, every winner receives a certificate.

Winners announced:

Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

at the Redwood Writers
general membership meeting
1-2:30 p.m.
Finley Community Center
Santa Rosa

Winning stories will be published online.
The first-place story is published in the monthly newsletter.



In addition to all Redwood Writers members, the contest is open to:
• All CWC members, regardless of residence.
• Non-member residents of Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Solano counties.


Submission dates:

Open: Saturday, June 19, 2021
Close: Sunday, August 29, 2021, at 9 p.m.


California Writers Club




(Not a member yet?
Click here to find out why you should join the Redwood Writers.)


Please observe the following contest rules; otherwise, your entry may be disqualified.

  • DO NOT place your name or contact information anywhere on your submission. This is a blind judging.
  • Submit as a doc file.
  • Wordcount: No more than 2,000 words.
  • Work can be complete works, excerpts from larger works, or previously self-published works, but they must be previously unpublished by a traditional publisher.
  • Format: Manuscripts must be double-spaced and use 12-pointTimes New Roman font.
  • Number the pages, bottom right.
  • Only ONE submission per entrant.
  • Please use the online form to submit your entry and payment. Only submissions uploaded via the online form will be accepted for judging.

Additional Rules:


At some point in the submission, the phrase, "I have made a terrible mistake" must be written into the story.


At the time of submission, include a 50-word professional biography written in the third person, and a small, square headshot photo (no longer than 300 pixels on the longest side.

  • Immediate family members of judges and chairs of this contest are not eligible to submit.
  • Upon submission, if you choose to pay with a check, please make check out to "CWC Redwood," and write "Mistake Contest" on the memo line.
    Please mail check to:
    Redwood Writers
    P.O. Box 4687
    Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Questions should be addressed to:
[email protected]
or use the form, below.



Sandy Baker

Sandy Baker celebrated a milestone birthday this year but doesn’t let that keep her down. No book in the works right now—just looking forward to in-person RW meetings! Past RW president and a couple of other jobs kept her busy. Grammar geek. Airbnb host. Gardener. Baker. Writer. Family grandma.


Kymberlie Ingalls

Kymberlie Ingalls is an editor, writing coach, blogger, and author. The creator of the successful sites Writer of the Storm and Neuroticy = A Societal Madness, she began blogging in the late 90s, before it became the phenomenon that is prevalent today.

Her work focuses on personal topics such as love, relationships, grief, memory loss, and the examination of the human mind. Beware of falling opinions.

Contests Chair


Tina Deason

Tina Riddle Deason is the author of One’s Own Sweet Way, a novel about Anxiety Disorder, (CM Riddle), several short stories including Redwood Writers and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, Sage Woman, Witches & Pagans, and Common Grounds magazines. She is currently working on two novels and an apprenticeship manual. She writes and performs rituals and ceremonies and leads women’s circles, and a yearlong Priestess Apprenticeship.


Questions should be addressed to:
[email protected]
or use the form, below.

Questions? Comments?

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